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Bad oil is no way to a man's heart

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
It's been said the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
I think I am in trouble.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to cook dinner for Greg.
I plotted our my menu, planning to make his favorites, vegetable soup, corn bread and strawberry cake – the perfect dinner for a cold night.
I spent the day cooking (yes, the whole day. I figure I'd better start turning up the heat, so to speak. I'm not getting any younger you know.)
Greg came over and I had the table nicely set.
"What did you do?" he asked.
"I cooked," I replied. "That's what you do when you don't go out to eat."
He sat down and looked around.
"Is that corn bread?" he asked. "I really like corn bread, but Mexican corn bread is my favorite."
Oops. I had no idea, though it's not like corn bread comes up a lot in our conversations.
He ate his soup, saying little as he went.
"Well…" I asked.
"It was pretty good," he said. "It's not as good as my grandmother's, though."
His grandmother? I didn't know I was competing with his grandmother. That's 70-plus years of cooking experience. She has pots and pans older than I am.
A mom's cooking is stiff enough competition. There's no way I can go up against someone's grandmother in the cooking arena.
"No, it's good, really," he replied after noting the tears welling up in my eyes. "Really. She just has a way with hers."
Not to be outdone, I decided to cook for him again last weekend. This time, I made my family's chili recipe and an almost-from-scratch cake. (It's almost-from-scratch because I almost scratched myself when I opened the box of cake mix.)
When he walked in the door, he commented on the aroma.
"Smells good," he said.
"Does your grandmother make good chili," I asked.
"I don't think so," he said. "Or if she does, I don't remember."
I was home free.
He ate some of the chili, commenting that it was, like the soup "pretty good."
Then it was time for the almost-from-scratch cake.
He took a bite, looked up rather sheepishly and said something didn't taste right.
"Is there cooking oil in the cake," he asked. "It tastes like old cooking oil."
He was right. The cake tasted terrible. Who knew cooking oil spoiled?
I sat down, rather dejected at the whole cooking thing.
"It's O.K, honey," he said. "Really."
"Just don't tell your grandmother," I said. "You can't let the competition know when you've failed."